Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | March 31, 2007

Last Chance to post for March

Well, I have been away for a while and have not written a post for the enitre month of March.  Today will give me a chance to check in before the end of this month. 

Lately I have been busy preparing Greek Reading notes for the book of John.  Also, reading for my Pentateuch class.  Not sure what’s next for this site, anything of substance will have to wait until summer break.  Although, I’ll try to check in from time to time.

One thing that I have been intending to write about was an article that caught my eye in the Winter 2007 issue of Biola Connections.  Being part of the alumni, I receive this magazine quarterly.  Nonetheless, the title of the article was “Sharing the Whole Gospel:  Social Justice, relief and development ministries still seen as a lesser priority.”   The scope of the aritcle is consistent with the title and talks about the apprehensive tendancy for evangelicals to send missionaires to perform mercy ministries alone (although I believe the tide is currently turning).   The story revolves around a missionary who was unsuccessful in sharing the gospel with natives until he helped them correct a problem with their water supply.

Personally, I do not think there was anything inherently wrong with the means and methods employed during this missionary endeavor.  The missionairies were just fulfilling the call to love their neighbor by improving the process of how they maintain a clean source of water.  The thing that troubled me more than anything was the title of the article, which confuses the law and the gospel.  This is not the first time I have heard a person or movement seek to combine the term gospel with aspects of the law.  What is the gospel? Is this an appropriate use of the term?

The gospel is literally the good news.  This good news is about what Jesus Christ has done.  Specifically, that Jesus came to fulfill all the demands of righteous by being perfectly obediently to the law and to provide a perfect sacrifice for the sins of His people.  This is good news, because man was utterly incapable of meeting this requirement after the Fall of Adam.  Adam too was without sin and able to keep the law, but he failed and brought his entire race into sin with him.  Sin is heinous and offensive to God.  It requires a just punishment for its violation against His eternal majesty.  All those in sin deserve God’s justice, which is eternal damnation.  Yet, for those in Christ by faith they have had that wrath that was stored for them satisfied (propitiated) on the cross 2000 years ago.  Their sins have been transferred (imputed) to Christ and Christ’s righteousness has been transferred (imputed or reckoned) to them.  This is not earned by the individual it was completely earned by Christ alone and it is a free gift.  This is good news.  This is the gospel.

The above mentioned definition is only part of what was meant by the term gospel in the article and others who make similar claims.  It implies that preaching the gospel includes what was stated above plus some other messages, which include themes such as social justice.  This is kind of scary, because I have heard this from people I know.  And I believe that this is an inappropriate use of the term.  Am I wrong? 



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